The Individual Strategy Project
The individual strategy project gives you a chance to apply the knowledge gained in the course to a real business case. You need to select a firm to analyze. The firm could be a firm that have worked for, or a firm where you have access to information. Your analysis must make use of the theories covered in the course. Most notably, you should carry out a five forces analysis of the firm’s environment, an analysis of the internal capabilities, the business strategy (low cost or product differentiation), the corporate strategy (mergers/acquisitions/strategic alliances) and the firm’s international strategy. It is essential that you make use of the VRIO analysis and that your analysis is supported by qualitative data (information from case studies, the press etc.) as well as quantitative data. You must also describe and argue a strategy that will provide the firm with a sustainable competitive advantage.
You must not write more than 3,000 words. The final grade of the assignment will be out of 10. Each step below should be read carefully and followed precisely. When you write your paper, please organize it based on these steps for ease of reading and grading:
- External Environment: Analyze the external environment of the firm. Describe how changes in the macro environment of the firm (use PESTEL analysis) affect the five forces analysis. How does this shape the firm’s opportunities and threats?
- Internal Analysis: Describe the internal capabilities of the firm and carry out a VRIO analysis. Explain where the firm’s is able to create a sustainable competitive advantage and for which resources and capabilities this advantage is missing.
- Business Strategy: What is the firm’s business level strategy and how well does this fit with the firm’s internal capabilities and environmental opportunities/threats?
- Corporate Strategy: What is the firm’s corporate level strategy and how well does this fit with the firm’s internal capabilities and environmental opportunities/threats?
- Recommendations: What are your recommendations to the firm? Explain your answer drawing conclusions from your above analysis.
- Executive Summary: The Executive Summary is written as the last step in the process, but placed at the beginning of the document. The Executive Summary should provide a brief overview of the main findings of the situation analysis, objectives, strategies and recommendations (maximum 10% of the length of the written document). This is NOT an Introduction or a Preface. It is intended to allow busy executives to grasp the paper’s major thrust without having to read the whole document.
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